PACMAN To Be His Own Lawyer

In a rare House ethics trial set to start this morning, November 15, 2010, Congressman Charles Rangel will be defending himself against thirteen alleged ethics violations, and he is going to do it on his own.

The allegations forced Rangel to step down from his powerful position as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee—a dramatic fall for a man once counted among the most influential politicians in the country.

Rangel raided the coffers of his National Leadership PAC for $293,000 to pay his main legal-defense team this year. He took another $100,000 from the PAC in 2009 to pay lawyer Lanny Davis.

On top of the $393,000 in PAC funds, records show Rangel yanked $1.4 million from his campaign coffers in 2009 and 2010 to pay the firm Zuckerman Spaeder, his main legal-defense team, and $100,000 in 2009 to pay Davis’ firm.

He also spent $147,577 for Washington, DC, lawyer John Kern and $174,303 for Watkins, Meegan, Drury & Co., a firm that offers forensic accounting and legal services.

Washington, DC political lawyer Cleta Mitchell said there is “no authority for a member to use leadership PAC funds as a slush fund to pay for personal or official expenses.”

“I already notified them that as a result of them taking so long that I have exhausted my abilities to raise the funds which are necessary to move on,” said Rangel. “All I do is just ask for the time to be heard and I am confident that at the end of the day my constituents’ faith in me, as demonstrated by their overwhelming vote, will be well-founded.”

EXIT QUESTION:  Are voters in Harlem like Pavlov’s dog?  Until Scott Brown hit the scene, voters in Massachusetts continued to vote for Teddy Kennedy and we all how that turned out.

Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

Read more at No Sheeples Here.